Are Bolivia’s Angry Miners Harbingers of More Trouble to Come for Morales?

Independent miners clash with the police during protests, Panduro, Bolivia, Aug. 25, 2016 (AP photo by Juan Karita).
Independent miners clash with the police during protests, Panduro, Bolivia, Aug. 25, 2016 (AP photo by Juan Karita).
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Bolivia was shaken in late August when Deputy Interior Minister Rodolfo Illanes was killed by striking miners from Bolivia’s informal, self-governing cooperatives, his body dumped by the side of the road 80 miles south of the capital, La Paz. Llanes had been sent to Bolivia’s mining region by President Evo Morales in an effort to reduce tensions among those frustrated with falling commodities prices and chafing at the government’s unwillingness to loosen restrictions they see as limiting their economic prospects. Among their repeated demands has been an expanded ability to contract with private companies—they are currently restricted to doing business […]

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